A formal comparison of conceptual data modeling languages

Abstract

An essential aspect of conceptual data modeling methodologies is the language’s expressiveness so as to represent the subject domain as precise as possible to obtain good quality models and, consequently, software. To gain better insight in the characteristics of the main conceptual modeling languages, we conducted a comparison between ORM, ORM2, UML, ER, and EER with the aid of Description Logic languages of the DLR family and the new formally defined generic conceptual data modeling language CMcom that is based on DLRifd. ORM, ER, EER, and UML class diagrams are proper fragments of ORM2 and CMcom has the most expressive common denominator with these languages. CMcom simplifies prospects for automated, online, interoperability among the considered languages so that modelers not only can continue using their preferred modeling language yet be compatible with the other ones, but also have a common ground that eases database and software integration based on commonly used conceptual data models.

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